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Ben Franklin and the Levitating Frog

Scientific Discipline — Physics (Electricity and Magnetism)

Levitating Magnet
No, it's not a flying saucer! Dr. Friedman levitates a rare earth magnet between two pieces of pyrolytic graphite

Even before the day Franklin decided that it was a good idea to fly a kite in an electrical storm, mankind had been both fascinated and terrified by the awesome power of electricity. Magnetism is electricity’s perpendicular Siamese twin. In this program your child and guests will learn much about these primal forces of nature. They’ll experiment with magnetic fluids, see how a super powerful magnet will attract a dollar bill, gasp as a magnet floats in midair and be amazed at the journey of a super magnet through a non-magnetic, but conductive pipe. They’ll watch in awe as a burned-out fluorescent light tube is mysteriously lit by the electrical field of a Tesla coil. We’ll safely transmit over 50,000 volts of electricity through the bodies of several volunteers holding hands, while the last person in line holds a fluorescent light bulb. The bulb will glow brightly. Then participants will have a hair-raising encounter with a 400,000 volt Van de Graaf generator. Other demonstrations will follow and finally everyone will build their very own electric motor to take home as a party favor.

Bad Hair Day

This young woman is experiencing a “bad hair day”, as a 400,000 volt charge of static electricity goes to her head.